But fall in applications is less dramatic in physical science subjects

Figures released by the admissions service Ucas show that applications for UK universities for the 2017 academic year fell 5% compared with the previous year, the first decrease since 2012.

There were a total of 564,190 applications to UK institutions for 2017 entry, compared with 593,720 for 2016. The fall in applications is thought to be an effect of the UK voting to leave the EU, which has created uncertainty for prospective students. Applications from within the UK decreased 5%, while those from EU countries outside the UK were down 7%. There was no net change in applications from outside the EU.

In the ‘physical sciences’ subject group – which includes chemistry and materials science courses – applications were down 3% overall compared with 2016, but this seems to have been driven largely by a decrease in domestic applicants. Applications from EU countries outside the UK fell 1% and those from outside the EU actually increased 2%.